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Golden Hour November 30, 2009

Posted by Jason in Insider's View Relapses.
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It has been, to say the least, an interesting year.  In retrospect, it should have come as little surprise that the last two columns dealing with motivation and stress struck such a chord with several readers. The recession has affected us all in various ways, from dropped projects to layoffs to outright business closures. As amazing as it may seem, there are still organizations that continue to grow and thrive in this environment — not because of luck, but because of careful, measured moves in the right directions over a long period of time. If yours is not one of them, I suspect you know of examples among your competitors, and it is difficult to avoid envy and admit that someone else has something that you don’t. (more…)

…But Not Too Boring November 18, 2009

Posted by Jason in Daily PM.
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A while back, I wrote a short response to an article about leadership – one that went out on a limb to say that “boring” leaders may be more successful than the high-profile, charismatic types that we might otherwise envision as fitting that role.

More recently, however, Seth Godin wrote, “As an organization grows and succeeds, it sows the seeds of its own demise by getting boring.” So, what’s going on here?  How is it that “successful” leaders – those with “attention to detail, persistence, efficiency, analytic thoroughness, and the ability to work long hours” – appear to be heading down exactly the wrong path? (more…)

Fuel the Fire; Don’t Burn Out November 1, 2009

Posted by Jason in Insider's View Relapses.
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Last month, we discussed some of the factors affecting the attraction of young people to engineering, math, and science. This perennial issue seems to have as many solutions as there are practicing engineers. Existing programs, such as the West Point Bridge Design contest and the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) ASCEville.com are intended to address youth directly and provide hands-on educational opportunities. But in most cases, such programs depend on the active participation of practicing engineers — many of whom have difficulty finding the time or motivation to volunteer. Are today’s engineers ready to accept the personal responsibility to develop the next generation, or are we ever more dependent on universities to provide the foundations upon which we then may build? And what of the subsequent laments that such schools do not adequately prepare graduates to enter the workforce? (more…)